Today my guest is Cindy Borgne, amazing author of the sci-fi/paranormal YA novel VALLAR
Hi dear Cindy, welcome! Tell us a few things about yourself.
I’m a mother of two kids from Michigan. I started writing when I was about fourteen. Back then I actually wrote fan fiction, and didn’t even know it was called fan fiction! Thankfully, I moved onto creating my own characters. When I get bored, I can write and escape into these worlds I like to create. I also enjoy the challenge. Writing gives me something to look forward to.
Tell us about your published novel VALLAR, what is it about?
Vallar is the story of Ian Connors, a 16 year old, psychic. He has a vision of a girl he has never met before and can’t help wanting to find to her, but his attempts put her in danger from his own people.
The setting is a dystopian society on Mars where scientific colonies have evolved into military factions in order to survive. Earth refuses to help due to their own problems of overpopulation and dwindling resources. The leaders of Marscorp believe that by conquering smaller organizations they will be able to gain enough power to force their way back to Earth. In order to complete their mission, Admiral Beacon uses Ian for his psychic ability.
Ian must save the girl of his dreams and escape the corruption surrounding him – otherwise there is no future for either of them. He must take charge of his life, or he will remain a pawn and forever separated from those he loves.
I just recently I found out Vallar is a finalist in the Reader’s Favorte contest. I will find out the results in September.
What inspired you to write VALLAR?
It started with a question: What if someone had psychic ability and was caught in a situation of being used by someone with power? What if he didn’t realize at first, but when he did he was still forced to do things he knew were wrong? What would he do?
Also the idea of putting this all on Mars came about when I’d read about companies building rocket-like planes capable of going into orbit around the Earth. I thought maybe one day it would be corporations that go to the moon or even Mars. Rather than NASA.
Then what if things went wrong and the corporations were abandoned by Earth? In my story, they turn against each other.
Which is your favorite scene from your book?
I had to think about this one. Several come to mind. The way Vallar is written everything is discovered through Ian’s eyes, so it can be hard to mention a scene without giving too much away something. There is a scene where Ian finds out a secret about his boss (Sonny) at the elevator factory. I like it because it throws in a bit of a twist and adds to the characterization of Sonny. It also emphasizes more of the suffering caused by Marscorp.
Tell us about your favorite character in your book.
Ian, the main character. His heart is always in the right place even though he makes mistakes. He’s so stubborn, but for the right reasons. He will go against anyone who is trying to make him do the wrong thing no matter how powerful they might be even though he is only sixteen.
I have to mention Sonny as my second favorite. He becomes Ian’s best friend and protects him. He changes so much during the story.
What kind of research did you have to do for it?
There was a good deal of research involved. I studied the book “A Traveler’s Guide to Mars.” This book has the best detailed description of the various areas of Mars that I could find. I also have a geologist/engineer critique partner that helped me with some of the technical aspects. I studied any map about Mars I could find. Google Mars is a good resource. I also studied the environment on Mars in depth.
What are you working on currently? Can we see a bit of it?
I’m mostly working on the sequel to Vallar. I have a small blurb for it. I’m sure it won’t be the final version.
A week before graduation, Ian Connors foresees a war that wipes out his home and loved ones. Can he prevent the Vallar alliance from being destroyed?
This is the last paragraph of Chapter 1.
I gripped one of my pillows and almost tore it apart in frustration over not having seen enough to give me any idea of how to stop it. It had to be an attack from the Marcs. They either knew our location or they had found out, but the swarm, I’d never seen so many ships or anything that even looked like that one with the large wings. No wonder Marscorp had been so quiet this last year. I couldn’t let Kayla and Sonny die.
What are your thoughts on self publishing vs. the traditional route?
I think they both have their pros and cons. With self-publishing, you have control of the product and you can publish it a lot faster. On the other hand, you have to do everything yourself and/or pay for things such as cover art and editing with no guarantee that there will be enough sales to cover it. But you can offer your book at more competitive prices. Yet, there is still the stigma of self-publishing, and some readers just will not give a self-published book a try. But on the other hand, with cheaper prices and e-books more readers are opening their minds about it.
With the traditional route, you have editing and cover art provided, of course. There is someone other than you saying “Hey, this is a good book!” If you’re published by a big house, they have the money to advertise and get your book placed in the showy spots in book stores (if they decide to do so). Smaller publishers usually leave most of the marketing up to the author. Lastly, it’s easier to get reviews for a traditionally published book.
What advice do you have for aspiring novelists?
I think the main thing is to not give up and stick with it. Try to enjoy the process and don’t over think rejections. Most rejections happen, not because they don’t like your writing, but because you are an unknown and they don’t think they can sell it. This goes back to an advantage of self-publishing because you can begin to gain readers on your own, which may later give you an advantage in getting an agent.
Also if you’re planning on self-publishing be careful not to rush the project. Take your time and be sure to get beta readers or work with a critique group. Everything has to come across as professional. Cover art, website, flyers, etc. Try to think of things from the buyer’s perspective. Would you buy your own book?
Thanks for having me today, Chrys.
Vallar on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vallar-ebook/dp/B004SHTNEU/
Vallar on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/47752